Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Damage Near Silver Creek Bridge

On Monday, I took the day off the bike. Was a bit windy, anyway. By Tuesday (yesterday) I was needing a ride. Forecast was for sunny, temp in the upper 70s, and a wind out of the NNW. With the wind, i decided to ride the Trace from Silver City to Malvern.

Was a nice, easy ride South to Malvern. Met a few other riders out on the trail. Caught a nice photo of harvesting though the trees on the Trace.

Knew it would be work on the way back up to Silver City into the wind. Took it easy. Stopped at the shelter just North of the Silver Creek bridge. Wanted to redord the damage done to the shelter. It looks like a vehicle backed (or drove) hitting the supports. (see photo) There were also vehicle tracks beside the shelter.

Ended up with a nice ride at 9.5 mph (about average for me right now on the Trace).

Journey of Hope

Sunday morning I had the necessary layers for a cool (chilly) Sunday Morning Ride. Had my breakfast at Panera but my riding friend did not show. I was not really disappointed - not ready for the cooler riding weather.

With the wind kicking up, I decided to ride the Wabash Trace from CB up to Dumfries. When I got at the trailhead, I found there was a charity ride there - fund raiser for cancer support groups in CB. The ride was the Journey of Hope Bike Ride/Walk for the Winds of Hope. I signed up for the ride, got my ls t-short, and headed up the hill.

Have not done much hill climbing. I sure felt it. My legs were tired by the way I got to Margaritaville. Normal stop there for a granola bar and G2. Back down to the trailhead.

Did my good deed for the day and had my bike ride at the same time!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mountain Men Rendezvous

This week has been the Mountain Man Rendezvous at the Western Historic trails Center. I stopped by there yesterday morning after breakfast to check it out.

Since it was relatively early in the morning, there were not many visitors. One of the vendors was cooking up breakfast. Of course, I had already had mine. Visited with one of the "Mountain Men). we is a VietNam vet. Had a good conversation.

In the afternoon I was back one the bike. A few more visitors of the gathering. Since it was mid-afternoon, I was getting a little hungry. In 2009 I was in the 4-corners area. Kept seeing signs about "frybread".

Had never tried it. Since they had some at the rendezvous, I just had to try it. What I got was much like a large, flat doughnut. The "bread" was sprinkled with sugar. Washed it down with lemonade. Got my sugar fix for the ride back.

North Side Tour

Have been a little back in my blogging. Maybe I can catch up this morning.

After the frustrations dealing with the dealership last Thursday morning, I needed a bike ride. In the afternoon, I parked downtown CB and stopped at the bike shop. Had a particular reason to stop at the bike shop - drop off some calendars.

Decided to check out the trails on the North side of town. Rode city streets up to the Sheriff's Dept. The road to Big Lake is still barricaded (as of Thursday - see photo). Water is basically under the railroad and I could see lots of clean-up activity in the park. I would not be surprised to see that Big Lake Park open now or very soon.

As I rode Iowa Riverfront Trail, I realized that some of the pumps have been shut down. The river level is continuing to drop. Standing water along the golf course is receding (tells me that they are slowly getting the ground water level under control).

Survey stake all along the level. Some makings on the pavement - looks like sections that will be replaced. Some sections have been almost destroyed by trucks and equipment driving on the levee during the flood.

Shot the lower photo here overlooking the lower level of Harrah's parking garage. From what I could see it looks like the water is nearly gone in the lower level. They have lots of cleaning up to do, clearing all the water silt, but perhaps they may soon open the section of the bicycle trail there.

On the way back, I looked at the area South the the Bob Bridge where the CB was building the new park/green space between the levee and the river. The area looks like coastal tidal flats.

Lots of devastation along the river. Much of the island between the river and chute is gone (maybe more will be visible after the river level gets down to normal). Many trees have died and are dying from toppling in the storms and high water.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Royal CF

Yesterday I opened envelopes from Classic (the car dealer). I was expecting a survey on the purchase/sales gal. Thankfully, I was at Panera Break for coffee. One of the envelopes was my title application paperwork. This was the same paperwprk I had been told that the dealership had sent to the bank a week ago.

At the dealership, (have I told you that almost every time I am in there, I get a different person and different answer) I was told that I got my own financing, they mailed me the paperwork. No explanation as to what too a week!

So, back to the bank where my banker took the paperwork and was forwarding it to their title office. The paperwork MAY make it to the county treasure office before my 30 days. Hope I do not get any penalty (here we have 30 days to register a vehicle).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waters Receding

After a week off the bike, it was time to get out for a ride. Weather was gorgeous when I headed out to the Wabash Trace Trailhead. It was a sunny, 74 degrees, with a slight breeze. Brought the road bike for some pavement miles. First destination was the Western Historic Trails Center.

Barricades where down as I headed out from the trailhead. A good sign that the mud had been cleaned from the trail along Mosquito Creek. As I approached the railroad underpass, I saw that the trail is clear - just a small bit of water still draining from the hill/mud.

Ground water around Lake Manawa is still very high. The low spot near the Nature Trail parking lot is still under water. Next stop was at the Missouri River boat landing. More of the road and larking lot are now visible as the waters recede.

At the Trails Center, I rode up to the levee to see the conditions of the trail behind the center. Its going to be some time before this section of the trail is dry, cleared, and rideable. Today's photo shows the trail behind of the Trails Center.

Uneventful ride to the bike shop. Stop for a rest and G2. Finished the ride down Harry Langdon to the trailhead. Grade A bike ride.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

2012 Calendar

The 2012 Bicycle Trails calendar is currently at the printer. I would have them for sale next week. You can reserve your copy by writing to: photos (at) TomWinfield (dot) com. Calendars are $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping (US Only). Iowa residents add 7% ($1.05) sales tax. PayPal accepted.

A PDF version of the calendar is available for viewing at my photography site:

My photos are not the wide, sweeping views typical of calendars. They provide an intimate view of the trail I was riding at the time. All photos on the calendar were taken while riding one of my bicycles.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More Car Dealer Frustration

When we last visited, I was bringing the new car home. At the dealership, I was told to come in next week to get paperwork for registration.

Last week (about Thursday the 8th) I was back at the dealership (Classic Chevrolet Cadillac) Eventually they found someone that knew where the paperwork was for my car. She told me that they did not receive the MSO from the original dealer, yet. Now, this was a WEEK from when I said I wanted the car and nearly a week after taking delivery! I was now told that it could be 10 days to 2 weeks before I can register the car.

She just kept telling me that "it takes time". Gave me no warm, fuzzy feeling that she really cared about when the paperwork was processed.

After coffee this morning, I came by the dealership since no one had given me an update. The sales manager was wondering why I was in the showroom. I told the sales gal that I was looking for my registration paperwork.

They found the paperwork and had me sign some more forms. Guess they were just gonna sit in some office until they got around to realizing they needed to contact me for signature. When I asked for registration paperwork, she told me that the bank had it.

On over to the bank. My personal banker checked and they had not received any registration paperwork. When I updated him of my problems, he commented that he was surprised that the dealership would deliver the car without having the MSO in hand. Back to the dealership. Finally I got the straight scoop - One of the papers I had signed was the MSO and WOULD be sent to the bank later today.

When the sales manager checked my sale, they were supposed to include the registration, tax, etc in the invoice. It was not. I had asked about the registration and tax and had been told that I needed to pay it when I registered the vehicle.

This whole episode has been a royal CF. Every time I talked with someone, I was getting only parts of the information. Hell, it seemed that no one seemed to have all of the information. Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ike's to Coin

Time to make a trek south to take photos. With another beautiful day in store, I headed down to Coin, IA, planning to ride up to Ike's and back. Unloaded the bike and headed out from the Coin trailhead. In the first 1/2 mile, I encountered over 4 trees down (thought it would be clear from Shenandoah to Coin).

I gave up and drove up to Ike's. The trail was supposed to clear for the Winery Harvest ride. This is a section of I had not ridden before. Wanted to photograph the Tarkio Bridge.

Uneventful ride to what I thought was the Tarkio River. (Now I see that the Tarkio River is crossed by the Trace South of Coin. I photographed the bridge over the W, Tarkio Creek!) I met one couple that said they were planning to ride to Blanchard - but they were stopped a little over 1/2 miles shy of Coin.

From the W. Tarkio Creek, the trail climbs for nearly 3 miles, cresting at 250 St. When I had started from Coin, It looked like it was a steady climb. So, I figure from 250 St to Coin is downhill.

Trail is blocked with downed trees at H Avenue. I did not try to ride South from Coin. With all of the downed trees in Coin, there was no reason to try that section.

Note: This is just informational. The trail crews have done a great job clearing the trail. Just soooo many downed trees from the storms.

Lake Manawa Trail

The week continues to be a beautiful week for bike riding. Thursday and Friday I parked at the Wabash Trace Trailhead and headed out for the Trails Center.

At the trailhead, there still are signs that the trail is closed. Again near the bus bar, and at the end of E South Omaha Bridge.

I had heard that the water was down and could get through there. The worst of the mud has been cleared from the trail. Looks like there were waiting for the "mud" to dry when it can be swept off. It is dry, except for one short section under the railroad. (today's photo)

Thursday was a bit breezy - winds from the NNW. It was rough pedaling up Indian Creek into the wind. Stopped at the Trails Center for the normal visit. Next stop was Xtreme Wheels, then back down to the trailhead. A good 19 mile ride.

Friday, I started off with the same route. Wind was not as bad, but still basically from the North. Instead of riding up to the bike shop, I rode back via Manawa - did not want to ride Harry Langdon with Friday afternoon traffic.

The two rides where enough that I made my first 100 miles week this year.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Iowa Riverfront Trail

Yesterday was the day to get a hitch installed on the new car. Figured it was a good time to head out to check out the Iowa Riverfront Trail. Had not been up North on the trail since the flooding (trail was closed).

The river continues to drop. How we are seeing the damage done. Today's photo showed what was the riverfront parking lot at Harrahs (near the golf course).

Please be careful riding the trail - there are numerous places where hoses from flood pumps are crossing the trail. Most are covered with hard pack (almost paved) over the hoses/pipes. Two spots have flat "pipes" across the trail.

The river is still high, but I could see some of the damage that was done. There are trees uprooted, land washed away, and new sand bars in the river. Not sure it is was water damage or working to shore up the levee, but a section of the Dodge Park Golf Course fell victim to the flood.

Much of the paved trail will need to be replaced - damaged from vehicles driving down it for inspections/maintaining the levee.

The trail is closed at the golf course. The lower section of the Harrah's parking lot (and the bike trail) is still under water. Basically, consider the Iowa Riverfront Trail is closed from the Trails Center to Dodge Park Golf Course.

I was less than a mile from getting back to Council Hitch (where I was getting the hitch installed) when my phone rang. Car is done. Good timing. Stopped at Xtreme Wheels to get the hitch. Zach was busy, but his friend Joe installed the rack for me. Now I need to get some rock in the low spot of the driveway so the hitch doesn't drag!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Council Bluffs Bike Paths Open

This week, we got the word that CB was planning to open the
Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Saturday morning. With that came the plans to open the levee trails. Levee trails will be open during daylight hours only.

I was looking forward to check out the trails and take a few photos. This morning John and I headed out for Sunday Morning Ride. From Panera Bread, we rode the new section of the Veteran's Memorial Trail to Lake Manawa Trail. Detoured down to the river to see the level.

On over the Indian Creek bridge. I had ridden to the bridge last week, so know how full the creek was. Stiff headwind greeted us as we rode up Indian Creek. At Hwy 92, I was surprised to see that the water level had dropped enough to ride under the bridge. (see photo) Even the trail had been cleaned!

Smooth sailing (pedaling) on over to the Western Historic Trails Center. Its still some time before the water will drop enough to ride on past the Trails Center. Short visit with Dewey. Time to pedal back to Panera so John can get home and mow the lawn.

OH, I should say something about the weather. Cold front came through yesterday. Our ride this morning was done under sunny skies, temperature in the mid 60's, and a stiff NW breeze. Glad I had long sleeves and a jacket for the ride. Cool for Labor Day Weekend.

Bike Hauler Home

The new bicycle hauler is FINALLY home. Its been a real pain (buying a car, not the performance of the car).

Last time I blogged about this, the dealership (Classic Chevrolet Cadillac) was trying to find another car. They refunded my deposit, apologized (the money should not have been deposited), and assured me they would find me a vehicle to my liking.

Last Monday, they advised me they found a silver Impala with the options I wanted. They inspected my old Impala for trade-in value.

Tuesday evening I received e-mail from the sales gal. I needed to come in to finalize the purchase - Wednesday. Had to be that afternoon (because she did not come into work until 2pm).

More frustration. I came in, she went through the $$$. It did not match my internet generated invoice (but at least it was in my favor). The big problem was that the trade-in was not listed. The Manager was not in because of a family emergency. Took them over 30 minutes to 1) start reworking the trade-in estimate and 2) call the manage and find out where the estimate was.

I had a min and max value in mind. They came almost in the middle of the range from keep the old car vs trade it in. Sales gal was pushing to get the deal signed. I was getting more frustrated. Left to cool down, clear my head. Back Thursday to sign paperwork.

From there, over to the bank. They told me it would take 3-4 hours to prepare the loan paperwork. Further, the bank officers I was working with was not in that day. Told them I would be back Friday morning when they opened.

Friday morning signed loan paperwork and delivered the check to the dealership. My sales gal was not in that day. I told another salesman that I had been also working with that I would be in shortly after 9am Saturday to take delivery.

Saturday at breakfast my phone rang (but I did not hear it). At the dealership I was advised that the car was not in yet. The truck is supposed to bring it in SOMETIME Saturday in time for me to pick it up.

I was pulling into the driveway at home when the phone rang - my car was in. Back into town. Finally took delivery of my new 2011 Impala about 11am.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

River Dropping, Lake Rising

The Missouri River level continues dropping. I hear that some sections of the Interstate north of CB are being inspected for damage. It's not pretty. Three months of the river flowing over the highway has taking its toll.

We got word that the CB end og the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge will reopen on Saturday. Plans are to open the bicycle trails on the levees very soon (maybe the weekend?). Sure looking forward to that. There are sections still under water (highway underpasses. Behind the Trails Center, under Harrahs).

Not to mention the clean-up that will be required. I am sure the trail will be covered with muck and silt. Word is that its still Mid October before the river is back to "normal".

Low spot of the Veteran's Memorial trail just east of S 24th St is now dry (though the barricade is still up). Lake Manawa Trail east of the nature trail parking lot is still underwater.

Meanwhile, with all of the rains, the level of Lake Manawa has risen. The entrance and part of Boy Scout Island is underwater (see photo).